SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Creative people often are said to live in different world. At Wofford College’s Shared Worlds, a science fiction/fantasy teen writing summer camp, teen writers work together to design and build their own worlds.
Shared Worlds, now in its 10th year and its fifth receiving a supporting grant from Amazon.com, is a unique summer camp for rising eighth- through 12th-graders that has an innovative approach by placing participants into small groups in which to create their worlds. Then, they write fiction set in the worlds they have created, receiving direct, professional feedback from best-selling and award-winning authors who teach in the program.
“The objectives are to write good fiction, develop the skills necessary to work well in a group and realize creative potential – all in a safe and structured environment,” says Dr. Tim Schmitz, associate provost for administration and director of summer programs at Wofford.
Although many of the spots in this year’s program, which runs from July 16 through July 29, are filled, the program continues to accept applications. “We always try to create space for last-minute applicants excited about our program,” Schmitz says. Go to www.sharedworldscamp.com to register or get more information.
The program draws participants from around the U.S. and the globe, Schmitz says. It has been featured in The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.
This year’s roster of guest writers again includes an impressive array of Shared Worlds veterans and those appearing for the first time.
The list of guest writers includes:
Gwenda Bond, author of young adult and children’s fiction whose novels include the Lois Lane Series (“Fallout,” “Double Down” and, coming this year, 2017 “Triple Threat”) and the Cirque American Series (“Girl on a Wire,” “Girl Over Paris” and “Girl in the Shadows”), about daredevil heroines who discover magic and mystery lurking under the big top. Bond and her husband soon will launch a middle-grade series called The Supernormal Sleuthing Service. Tobias S. Buckell, a New York Times-bestselling author whose works have been nominated for such awards as the Hugo, the Nebula, the Prometheus and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. Visit www.tobiasbuckell.com.
N.K. Jemisin, author of speculative fiction short stories and novels whose work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award. She won the Locus Award for Best First Novel as well as the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award three times. In 2016, she became the first black person to win the Best Novel Hugo for “The Fifth Season.” Visit http://nkjeminsin.com.
Kathe Koja, a novelist and playwright whose books span such genres as horror, historical and young adult. She won the Bram Stoker Award and the Locus Award and was shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award. Go to www.kathekoja.com.
Terra Elan McVoy, whose works include novels “After the Kiss,” “Being Friends with Boys,” “Pure,” “Summer of Firsts and Lasts,” “Criminal” and “In Deep.” Visit www.terraelan.com.
Sofia Samatar, author of the novels “A Stranger in Orlondria” and “The Winged Histories.” She is the recipient of the William L. Crawford Award, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the British Fantasy Award and the World Fantasy Award. Visit www.sofiasmatar.com.
Ekaterina Sedia, whose novels include “The House of Discarded Dreams,” “The Secret History of Moscow” and “The Alchemy of Stone.” She also has written a number of short stories. Go to www.ekaterinasedia.com.
Ann VanderMeer, who serves as the Shared Worlds editor-in-chief. She has more than 30 years of editing for which she has received numerous awards, including the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. She was editor-in-chief for Weird Tales for five years and now is an acquiring editor for Tor.com. She is co-founder of Cheeky Frawg Books. Visit http://vandermeercreative.com.
Jeff VanderMeer, Shared Worlds co-director. VanderMeer has written or edited numerous works of speculative fiction, including the critically acclaimed Southern Reach trilogy, the first novel of which, “Annihilation,” has been adapted for film by Alex Garland. The film is due to be released in 2018. His most recent novel, “Borne,” was released to rave reviews in April. He is also the author of “Wonderbook,” the first illustrated guide to creative writing, which serves as the Shared Worlds textbook.
Tuition for Shared Worlds 2017 is $2,400 per person and includes accommodations, all meals, instruction, supervisory personnel, program material, activities, professional evaluation and certificates. Need-based financial aid is available from the program on a limited basis.
“Shared Worlds is a great way for students to meet their creative peers from across the country and around the world and publish their work with the help of award-winning authors,” Schmitz says. “Shared Worlds takes the ideas and enthusiasm of young writers seriously and encourages their creativity in a fun, dynamic and safe learning environment on the beautiful Wofford campus.”